Rabu, 23 April 2014

MUSLIMS NEED COALITION OF ISLAMIC PARTIES

 By Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, April 23 (Antara) - The Islamic political parties, which collectively won about 32 percent of the votes in the April 9 legislative elections based on unofficial quick counts, need to form a coalition to serve Muslims' interest.
         "A coalition of Islamic parties is needed to serve the interest of the Muslim community and the people as a whole," Abdul Ghaffar, chairman of the Human Research and Development Center of the Yogyakarta branch of the country's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), said on Monday.
         He said the formation of a coalition by Islamic parties was needed as long as it was aimed at serving the interest of the Muslim community, not for a certain group only. Therefore, as they had a relatively large number of votes, namely about 32 percent, Islamic parties need to form their own alliance.
         Based on unofficial quick counts, the three top positions in the recent legislative elections were secured by nationalist parties with a combined voter turnout of about 45 percent. However, these nationalist parties, respectively, had their own presidential candidates. Thus, it was impossible for them to coalesce with each other.
         Yet, they had presidential candidates with a relatively high electability. The first winner of the legislative election, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), for example, had nominated popular Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi.  

Selasa, 22 April 2014

GOVERNMENT IMPROVING DISTRIBUTION OF RICE FOR POOR

By Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, April 22 (Antara) - The government is now intensifying supervision and improving the distribution of about 2.8 million tons of rice for the poor (raskin) allocated for 15.5 million target families across the country this year.
         As part of its social protection policies for the poor, the government, since 2008, has provided 19.21 million tons of raskin worth Rp97 trillion, until 2013. Each poor family has been allocated 15 kg raskin per month at a price of Rp1.6 thousand per kg.
         "The raskin program contributes 40 percent of the need for rice to a poor family, which reaches about 38 to 40 kg per month," Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono informed the Raskin Coordination Team's meeting here on Monday.
         Earlier, the chief minister for people's welfare stated that the government had done a lot of things so far, to improve the distribution of raskin to the recipients. "We have made improvements in the allocation of raskin distribution," stated Agung Laksono on Thursday (April 10).

Senin, 21 April 2014

IDEA TO FORM GREATER INDONESIA COALITION BEING QUESTIONED

 By Andi Abdussalam

          Jakarta, April 21 (Antara) - The idea to bring Islamic political parties to join as a major nationalist counterpart in a "Greater Indonesia coalition" is being questioned whether it can be realized.
         Not all the Islamic parties had the same attitude regarding the idea, which was raised by the National Mandate Party (PAN) Advisory Council's Chairman Amien Rais in Jakarta last Thursday.
         Some suspected that the idea was raised in an effort to bring PAN General Chairman Hatta Rajasa to pair as a running mate with Prabowo Subianto, the presidential candidate of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
         The Gerindra is a nationalist party, which won the third place (about 11.80 percent of the votes) based on unofficial quick counts on the results of the April 9 legislative election.
         Based on the unofficial quick counts, two nationalist parties, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) won the first place with 18.90 percent of the votes and the Golkar Party secured the second place winning 14.30 percent.
         Like the Gerindra, the two first and second winners of the legislative elections had also announced their own presidential candidates, the PDIP with Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi and the Golkar with its general chairman Aburizal Bakrie (ARB). Yet, these three contestants needed to form a coalition before they can nominate their candidates.

Jumat, 18 April 2014

INDONESIA DETERMINED TO EMERGE AS NEW ASIAN TIGER

By Andi Abdussalam  
      Jakarta, April 20 (Antara) - Indonesia is now putting in place industrial development programs across the country in an effort to create a new economic growth momentum and emerge as a new Asian economic tiger.
         "I am very much convinced that the current 21st century will be the best century for Indonesia, as the country is destined to emerge as an Asian giant," former Indonesian ambassador to the United States Dino Patt Djalal, who is now taking part in the ruling Democratic Party presidential candidate convection, said in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on Wednesday last week.
         As part of the development, the Ministry of Industry is encouraging the acceleration and equitable distribution of locating industries throughout the country.
         "We hope we can continue to develop industries throughout the country to increase their added values, particularly industries outside Java," Industry Deputy Minister Alex SW Retraubun said in press statement made available to Antara here on Wednesday.

Rabu, 16 April 2014

JUSUF KALLA IS IDEAL RUNNING MATE FOR JOKOWI?

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, April 16 (Antara) - The Bandung-based Padjadjaran University (Unpad) said on Tuesday that of the four presidential-vice presidential candidate pairs it had assessed in a simulation on the human right aspect, the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla duo recorded the highest score.
         Some observers had opined that it will be ideal for popular Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, to run for president with Jusuf Kalla (JK) as his running mate.
         The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI), which according to unofficial quick counts won the first place in last week's legislative elections, had nominated Jokowi as its presidential candidate for the July 9 presidential contest.
         Tipped by many to be the winner of the presidential election, Jokowi is currently communicating with other electoral contestants, including seeking a running mate. The PDIP had previously opened communications with the National Democrat Party (NasDem).
         Political communications expert Lely Arrianie Napitupulu of the Mercu Buana University said if the NasDem can encourage Jusuf Kalla to pair up with Jokowi, the PDIP will face no problems.

Selasa, 15 April 2014

NATIONAL EXAM BEING USED AS TARGET OF PRACTICAL POLITICS?

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, April 15 (Antara) - Amid the general elections in the current 'year of politics', when the country will see a change in the leadership in October, the government is organizing a national examination for senior high school students.
         A total of 2.8 million students from upper secondary schools (SMA), senior high Islamic schools (MA), senior high vocational schools (SMK), and Packet C students appeared for a three-day-long state examination across the country on Monday.
         The 2.8 million students will become first-time voters in the July 9, 2014, presidential election. They can contribute a large number of votes to electoral contestants.
         Therefore, it was surprising when it was found that the name of popular Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, appeared in the Indonesian Language subject of the national examination.
         As Jokowi was named as a presidential candidate by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), the inclusion of his name in the exam materials soon drew criticism.

Senin, 14 April 2014

SOME 2.8 MILLION SCHOOL STUDENTS APPEAR FOR NATIONAL EXAMS

 By Andi Abdussalam   
          Jakarta, April 14 (Antara) - About 2.8 million students from upper secondary schools (SMA), senior high Islamic schools (MA), senior high vocational schools (SMK), and Packet C students appeared for a three-day long state examinations across the country, on Monday.
         President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, through his twitter account, wished them luck for the national examinations, which was one of the stages they have to clear before taking up further studies at universities.
         The format of the national exams held this year differs from that of the previous years. The results of this year's examinations will be used to gain acceptance at state universities.
         "You must have high spirit while appearing in the exams," the President noted, expressing hope that students will perform satisfactorily in the national examinations. 
   "May you get satisfactory results," prayed the President.

         The number of SMA, MA, and Packet C students appearing in this year's examinations totaled 1,644,713, while the number of SMK students taking the same exam was recorded at 1,184,987.